Anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax most commonly occurs in wild and domestic lower vertebrates (cattle, sheep, goats, camels, antelopes, and other herbivores), but it can also occur in humans when they are exposed to infected animals or tissue from infected animals.
Anthrax is most common in agricultural regions where it occurs in animals. These include South and Central America, Southern and Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. When anthrax affects humans, it is usually due to an occupational exposure to infected animals or their products. Workers who are exposed to dead animals and animal products from other countries where anthrax is more common may become infected with B. anthracis (industrial anthrax). Anthrax outbreaks occur in the United States on an annual basis in livestock and wild game animals such as deer.
Anthrax infection can occur in three forms: cutaneous (skin), inhalation, and gastrointestinal. B. anthracis spores can live in the soil for many years, and humans can become infected with anthrax by handling products from infected animals or by inhaling anthrax spores from contaminated animal products. Anthrax can also be spread by eating undercooked meat from infected animals. It is rare to find infected animals in the United States.
In the event of a biologic attack, physicians will be first responders and represent the front line of defense, but little is known about the ability of physicians to appropriately diagnose and treat patients infected with bioterrorism agents, according to background information in the article.
For weeks a white powder caused fear and shock for the American population: a few days after the attacks on September 11th, 2001, four innocent people became the victims of letters that contained the powder - spores of the anthrax pathogen. German researchers have now synthesized a molecule characteristic of anthrax in the laboratory which may be the basis for a new anthrax vaccine.
...as scientists try to develop new antibiotics faster than the bacteria can evolve new resistance strategies. But now, researchers have a new strategy that may give them a leg up in the race -- reproducing in the lab the natural evolution of the bacterial enzymes that confer resistance.
The lethal toxin in anthrax paralyzes neutrophils, the white blood cells that act as the body's first defense against infection, by impairing how they build tiny filaments that allow them to crawl throughout the body and eat invading bacteria.
A Flinders University research program to develop new forms of vaccine against infectious diseases has received over $3 million in funding from the United States Government's National Institutes of Health.
That's the finding of chemists at Ohio State University, who have successfully tested such molecules against portions of HIV and Hepatitis C virus RNA in the laboratory. They've also created molecules that act like ACE, or angiotensin-converting enzyme, inhibitors - drugs that are used to lower blood pressure.
A method for identifying Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax, has been cleared for diagnostic use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
A new laboratory method for quickly detecting active anthrax proteins within an infected blood sample at extremely low levels has been developed by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and the National Cancer Institute.
The state media in China has reported that in the northeast of the country anthrax has killed one person and infected 12 more.
A woman who works at the National Institutes of Health in Rockville, Maryland, was arrested in Maryland on Monday, after making a threat to infect Florida property assessors with anthrax for revoking her tax exemption.
The human opportunistic pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, has broken the immune system's code, report researchers from the University of Chicago, enabling the bacteria to recognize when its host is most vulnerable and to launch an attack before the weakened host can muster its defenses.
The work, which grew out of an ongoing effort to produce a better anthrax therapeutic, shows that the protective antigen component of the bacterial toxin plays an active role in transferring the other two components of the toxin through the cell membrane.
The United States does not have nearly enough antiviral drugs on hand to fight a coming influenza pandemic, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).
Human Genome Sciences has announced that results published in the current issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases demonstrate that the first investigational agent against anthrax infection to be evaluated in a clinical study since the 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States, is safe, well tolerated and achieves the blood levels predicted by relevant animal models as necessary to afford significant protection from the lethal effects of the anthrax toxin
Researchers in Austria say that an enzyme that regulates blood pressure is also involved in the SARS virus, and the discovery could lead to new ways of treating diseases that cause lung failure.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says Bio-Germ, a lotion being promoted by a Texas businessman lacks federal approval and could face scrutiny for claims made on its Web site.
A collaborative team of scientists led by The Burnham Institute's Maurizio Pellecchia, Ph.D., has identified inhibitors of the anthrax toxin, termed lethal factor ("LF") that could be developed into an emergency treatment for exposure to inhalation anthrax.
With a number of other non-profit groups, ITSSD is calling attention to Brazil's threat to break U.S. patents on American AIDS drugs used as part of Brazil's government-funded treatment program.
A supermarket checkout computer can identify thousands of different items by scanning the tiny barcode printed on the package. New technology developed at Cornell University could make it just as easy to identify genes, pathogens, illegal drugs and other chemicals of interest by tagging them with color-coded probes made out of synthetic tree-shaped DNA.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded 10 grants and 2 contracts totaling approximately $27 million to fund development of new therapeutics and vaccines against some of the most deadly agents of bioterrorism including anthrax, botulinum toxin, Ebola virus, pneumonic plague, smallpox and tularemia.